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Madre muralista: Mission artist opens up about balancing her career and motherhood

Madre muralista: Mission artist opens up about balancing her career and motherhood

This Q&A with Lucía Gonzáles Ippolito—a Mission Muralist who serves as Chair Artists on the Latino Cultural District Art Board—is the fourth of a series where we aim to shed light on the day-to-day work experience of women in various walks of life. Ippolito, who is a new mom, opens up about her art, influences, and how motherhood has impacted her life. 

What does your day look like before you begin work?

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*Laughs* “It looks like me changing my baby’s diaper, feeding her, playing with her, and then maybe I’ll have some time to  myself to get dressed and drink water. *Laughs again* And then I’ll try to go for a walk with her once I get ready and then I’ll eat something. And then, I’ll work once she has a nap….That is my life. It has its ups and downs but overall, it is very rewarding. 

Lucía Gonzáles Ippolito—a Mission Muralist who serves as Artist Chair on the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Council—poses for a portrait alongside her partner and infant daughter. Courtesy Photo

On a traditional work day, what is usually the biggest obstacle you find yourself faced with?

The biggest obstacle, currently, is trying to find the time to work while I have a baby. My partner and I have to divide up our work schedule. There are days when I can’t even work at all because he has to work and I have to watch her all day. And there’s times where, even if I am alone with her all day, she just won’t let me work. There’s times where I can’t work anymore and it’s hard because I’m so used to being independent and so used to working whenever I want. I’m also very spontaneous and unorganized so I just go with the flow and it’s not easy to do that now. That’s pretty much my biggest challenge—just finding the time nowadays. You don’t really realize how precious your moments are in a day until you have a kid. I would never regret having a kid and I’ve always wanted children but nobody ever really tells you that part or, I guess, they can’t really explain it. 

Where do you find meaning in your work?

I always find meaning in socio-political movements that are happening throughout the world and usually social issues that concern me or inspire my work. I find meaning in educating viewers who see my murals. I have meaning in trying to fight for justice somehow by representing oppression in my paintings.

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Mission Muralist Lucía Gonzáles Ippolito and her infant daughter, Lulu. Courtesy Photo

How has your gender influenced your work?

I’m a woman of color and I was raised by my mother who was a single mother and an activist and surrounding by many strong female feminists so I think that influences my work a lot. 

What does your day look like when work is “finished” for the day?If I get work done, I will feed my baby dinner. I will make dinner for me and my partner. Then I will give my baby a bath, I will read her a book and then I will get her ready for bed. And, if I do get her to bed, then I will have some time to myself before I go to bed.

El Tecolote turns 52 this August!